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Film festival adds free programming, extra day

By Melissa Crowe
March 1, 2012 at 5:03 p.m.
Updated Feb. 29, 2012 at 9:01 p.m.

Johnson Symposium Center Free Films:

Film: "The Apostles of Park Slope"

Time: Noon, March 22

What: After losing his mother, Mike Callahan's old crew rallies together to cheer him up. See what ensues when a priest who is invited to the meal attempts to inspire the gang to turn to the Lord during times of loss.

Film: "Freaks In Love: a quarter century in underground rock with Alice Donut"

Time: 2 p.m., March 22

What: Documentary of the 25-year career of the seminal psychedelic-punk band Alice Donut from its humble beginnings to performing at a major festival and touring with a national band.

Double Feature: "BBQ: A Texas Love Story" and "Somethin's Brewin' in Shiner"

Time: noon, March 23

What: These films focus on two things that Texans love: barbecue and beer. Features narration by former governor Ann Richards and a tour of Texas barbecue and the stories of the people behind the pit, and puts the spotlight on Shiner

Film: "Slacker 2011"

Time: 2 p.m., March 23, Johnson Symposium

What: A stream-of-consciousness chronicle of a day in Austin, featuring the personalities and locations that make up its identity.

Film: "Daylight"

Time: 4 p.m. March 23

What: A harrowing psychological thriller pits a couple lost in America against a conniving gang of kidnappers.

Film: "Incredibly Small"

Time: Noon, March 25

What: After two recent college graduates move into a small apartment together, the small space mixed with a handsome neighbor and unexpected visitors from the past make them question their futures together.

Film: "Here and There"

Time: 2 p.m., March 25

What: Two interconnected stories a jaded middle-aged New Yorker attempts to make quick cash by marrying a Serbian woman for U.S. immigration papers. At the same time, a young Serbian struggles in New York, desperately trying to bring his Serbian girlfriend to the U.S.

Before the first film has even been screened, Victoria Texas Independent Film Festival is making itself bigger and better for the inaugural weekend.

Executive Director Anthony Pedone announced an extended lineup, featuring six free films, a partnership with Victoria College's Johnson Symposium Center and an extra day added to the weekend event.

"I just want people to have the opportunity to experience independent film," Pedone said. "This is about introducing people to independent film and letting them see how cool it is."

The festival is now scheduled for March 22 to 25 at the Leo J. Welder Center for the Performing Arts and Victoria College. Tickets start at $10 for individual films. Weekend passes cost $99. Tickets are available at the Welder Center.

The free films, screened throughout the weekend feature love stories about Texas barbecue and beer, stories of Texas culture, and a psychological thriller.

Pedone anticipates more announcements, including nine additional films and a third venue coming up in the future.

"I knew that it could get this big and I know it can get bigger," Pedone said. "What we're doing - already making movies, attracting other film makers to come here - it's great to know it's about the films."

Christine McCarthy, shorts program director, said the additional programming "takes the gamble out of it" for people who do not want to or financially cannot spend $10 or $20 on a film they have never heard of.

"The whole purpose of this is to share art with a community that would not have access to it otherwise," she said. "A day of free access makes sure everybody is included."

While McCarthy would not give a personal recommendation, she said the added programming enhances the festival's already varied lineup.

"We try to have a little something for everyone," McCarthy said. "No film is going to make everybody happy. Do a little homework, you know what you like."



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